If a report in today’s Dallas Morning News proves correct, the 2020 Democratic presidential field will get even more crowded than it already is.
Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) appears ready to join the race.
The Morning News quotes “people close” to O’Rourke as saying he has “decided not to run for U.S. Senate next year … and will likely announce a campaign for president soon.”
O’Rourke has not yet confirmed this.. In what the Morning News called an “exclusive statement,” O’Rourke said he and his wife, Amy, “have made a decision about how we can best serve our country. We are excited to share it with everyone soon.”
Assuming he does make a run for the White House, O’Rourke will have to move soon; he must develop a campaign organization, raise substantial funds and get out in front of voters.
The first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses (the state’s version of a primary) are less than a year away, set to begin Feb. 3, 2020.
O’Rourke did well in a Des Moines Register poll in December, trailing only former Vice President Joe Biden, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT).
But since then, University of Iowa political scientist Tim Hagle told the Morning News, “It seems like his star was fading … because he’s not in the news.”
Former Dallas mayor Ron Kirk told the Morning News that O’Rourke has a real shot at the nomination.
“It’s anybody’s game,” he said. “He’s got to put on his big-boy pants and get in there and fight.”